Saturday, July 24, 2021

Take a Break - Martin Wiles

He makes me lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23:2 NIV

God made me lie down—even when I didn’t want to.

Life was busy. I sometimes didn’t know whether I was coming or going. I had taken a new position at a small church and busied myself trying to fall into my new responsibilities—one of which was planning two revivals each year.

Not knowing a preacher in the area to invite to preach our first revival, I chose my dad, a long-time pastor. Not wanting to make the long drive back and forth each night, he decided to stay with us. He arrived the Saturday before the Sunday the revival was scheduled to begin.

Saturday proved an exhausting day for me—but I couldn’t explain why. Every little thing I did tired me out. I slept little that night, and Sunday morning I discovered the reason for my exhaustion when I visited the bathroom. Dad had experienced a bleeding ulcer before. I knew the signs. I had one.

Instead of attending the revival, I attended the hospital—for five days. God made me lie down when I would have rather attended the revival and carried out my daily responsibilities. But in the lying down, God also taught me some important lessons. One, that I needed to take a break.

The psalmist said God made him lie down. As a former shepherd, David knew what it took for his sheep to lie down. They had to experience an absence of fear, hunger, aggravation, and friction. Jesus later termed Himself the Good Shepherd who does the same for His sheep as David’s God did for him.

All of us need a break from time to time. A period when we stop and evaluate—or reevaluate. A time when we stop, look, and listen. Studies have shown power naps during the day increase our productivity. So will rest at night.

As God’s children, we can experience these periods of rest. We can lie down for the same reasons sheep can. Through Paul, God says He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. Knowing our good Shepherd controls our life removes unwarranted fears.

Nor do we have to have to worry about the necessities of life, hunger among them. Jesus also tells us not to worry. He knows the needs of the small sparrow, and we are more important to Him than sparrows are.

The aggravation for sheep came in the form of pests, which the shepherd drove away by anointing the sheep with various things. Temptation will aggravate us, but God says He will not allow the temptations to trump our ability to withstand them—with His help.

No one likes friction either. When sheep are fighting, they won’t lie down. God wants us to love everyone, especially those who share our faith. He wants us to be peacemakers, as far as it depends on us.

So, claim God’s promises—and take a break.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for making us lie down when we need to rest. 

Tweetable: Do you need to take a break? 

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